SOME ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS...
Why should I enter this race?
This race is different from the other choices you have on the race calendar. The T2FR will challenge you in different ways, forcing you to rely on skills and strategy in addition to running fitness. We've created this race for runners who love to explore the great outdoors, and it will be a 'gathering' of like-minded runners (let's face it, your friends and family are sick of hearing you talk about trail running), and the 30-hour course is deliberately structured so that you will get to meet and hang out with runners from all ends of the field.
How far is the race?
That totally depends on you. Mandatory checkpoints will mean you will need to be able to cover about 85km, so use that as a guide for your bare minimum preparation. How many checkpoints, and how far you run, is your decision, and how intelligently you navigate to reduce your mileage between selected checkpoints is also your decision. This is a race where runners with completely different strengths can compete with each other, as it doesn't matter how far or fast you run, but how smart you run.
Where are the checkpoints?
We won't be releasing the details of the checkpoints until the race comes along. This is to prevent anyone from having the chance to plot an efficient route in their GPS - this race is all about developing a strategy on the fly and navigating on your own. What we can tell you is that the checkpoints may be scattered in all directions around the start/finish base. This means that runners will be strategic about which checkpoints they pick - do you run further to collect high value checkpoints, or try to get as many as the small ones? Are you more suited to the big hills, or will you pick low elevation points? This style of racing ensures that no two runners will run the same route during the 30 hours, or cover anywhere near the same amount of distance. Everyone will truly run their own race, and hopefully design an adventure that suits their running style and offers them some good challenges.
Please note that the checkpoints are not manned.
What is the Minimum Viable Route?
Head to our blog post on this here.
Can I run with my pals?
There are solo and pairs categories of this race, and so racers can either run alone or with their bestie. This race will not discourage racers hanging out with each other and running together (it is a ‘fun run’, after all), but please respect the ethos of the race and do not share resources or blatantly follow someone else who you think can navigate better.
Where do we sleep?
It is a 30-hour race, and it is expected that most of the runners will have a kip at some point. Again, this will be down to your own race strategy - do you run the full 30 hours to make the most of your time? Or will a good night's sleep help you run faster and make better navigational decisions (hint)? A sleep system is in your mandatory kit, and we strongly suggest that you bring along something better than the bare minimum - a warm sleeping bag, waterproof bivvy sac, and ground mat will be enough to keep you warm at night and stay fast and light on the trail. Scotland is blessed with the Right To Roam, so racers can sleep wherever they please, but please do follow the code and leave nothing but footprints. There will be bothies on the course that we can highly recommend (but please don't disturb other bothy users if you're planning on a two-hour sleep at odd hours).
Basically, find a patch to lie down on, or don't, but be respectful.
What do we get for finishing?
Our sincerest apologies will await you at the finish line, along with a finisher's party that will be great fun as all the runners will be coming in around the same time, regardless of their speed and skill. This is a race where the back of the pack and the gazelles will get to share a beer together. There will be some great prizes from our sponsors for the listed prize categories, some of which are dependent on the stories that you share and the photos that you snap, so ration some of your phone battery to share your adventure on social media as you go so you can be eligible to win stuff.
What do we eat?
When you set off, you should have food in your pack for some remote wilderness running. What you carry is your problem. As there is no set course, you can decide for yourself whether you want to carry enough food to see you through (you might bring a stove for camping, it's up to you!), or pick up supplies along the way at towns or pubs. Some of the checkpoints may even be in food service venues.
Where do we get water?
In Scotland, water is incredibly easy to find. That being the case, runners are not permitted to purchase plastic bottled water unless it is an emergency (points will be deducted).
What type of backpack should we bring?
It is strongly recommended that you practice running with a full backpack before the race. Anywhere between 15-25L should offer enough space, depending on what sleep system and the amount of food you're taking with you. As it's the Scottish Highlands and any type of weather can show up, we recommend having enough space for plenty of layers. Look for a backpack that has an adjustable fit, is lightweight, and has accessible side pockets to help you move fast on the trail.
How do we navigate?
There are no rules on this one. If you prefer an electronic device, go for it. All runners will be supplied with a list of checkpoints by GPS coordinates at registration along with a very basic map, and we will let you know well in advance which section of OS maps the 'course' covers, so if you want to show up with a map already marked with bothies and convenience stores (hint), then go for it. It will be interesting to see how different runners manage their navigation.
Do I have to run?
Absolutely not! We just think running is a lot of fun (and a faster way to get around). Hillwalkers are more than welcome at this event, and we’re certain that a strong navigator could do really well in the overall standings without running a single step.
Why is the registration an application?
This race is a little different, specifically that we're not offering any support while sending you out into the Highlands without a route. As responsible race directors, we need to be sure that only those who have a chance at being able to handle that enter the race, and that everyone who enters fully understands the format. This is to prevent us having to get a load of angry emails the Monday afterward from runners who got hungry or lost and felt that this race was not as good as the UTMB. We promise you, this race will not be as good as the UTMB. If that's the kind of race you like, please don't come, you'll hate this.
What if I don’t make it?
Look - it’s a tough race. Let’s be clear about that fact. Some, if not many, racers may fail. To qualify as a finisher, you must pass through the mandatory checkpoints and return to Base within 30 hours. If you cannot achieve the time limit, abandon your route and return to Base (come on, we’re having an after party!). Points for those who have not completed the mandatory course will still be tallied and listed, however any racers in this category will not be listed as ‘finishers’.
If you have some more questions, please get in touch. We'll try to add good questions (and answers) to this page.